Surface Treatment – What’s It All About?

You’re probably here because you have a problem – you need to write or print or stick something to a certain surface as part of your wider production process, but it’s not working.  Have you ever wondered why?

In simple terms, the reason for this is the relative energy between two surfaces – and the only way to solve the problem is to modify a surface to increase its adhesive capability.  This is what’s known as “Surface Treatment”. The two solutions we work with are Corona treatment and Plasma treatment. Surface Treatment is often at the heart of a production process and can play a vital role in successfully reaching the outcomes you desire in your finished product.

Working in long term collaboration with our key Supply Partners, AcXys and Vetaphone, we have combined knowledge of a vast range of process requirements, gained from experience of working with Customers in a wide range of Industry sectors.  Whatever the needs of your Application,  Active Surface Technology can probably provide the solution – from the treatment of intricate 3D or pocketed components or tiny areas of them, through to films in excess of 10 metres wide.  On the rare occasion that we can’t assist, we’ll be glad to guide you in the right direction.

Let’s Look at Applications

Your Industry sector might be Bio-Medical, Automotive, Packaging, Marine, Aerospace, Printing or other Manufacturing.  Do you consider your process to be one of the following?
  • Extrusion: For extruded films and webs, Corona discharge treatment has long been the cost effective solution. For more specialist films and webs and extruded profiles, we supply Plasma treatment systems which can utilise nitrogen, argon or helium and fine tune the chemistry with Dopants to achieve very high dyne levels and the best possible bonding.
  • Injection Moulding: Injection moulded parts are Corona or Plasma treated. We supply Corona and Plasma treatment systems for treating small areas; these can be mounted on conveyors, rotating tables, or held by robots and indexed over the areas to be treated.
  • Bonding: Similar to injection moulded parts, we supply Corona and Plasma treatment systems for surface treatment prior to adhesives and other specialist bonding techniques.
  • Laminating: Laminating materials for packaging processes have traditionally been optimised with Corona discharge treatment. Some other Laminating processes benefit from Plasma treatment. We supply Corona treatment systems especially designed for laminating processes and production lines. We also supply Plasma systems for the more specialist Laminating applications.
  • Printing: For films and webs – commonly packaging – Corona treatment is still the cost effective solution in almost every case.  Printing on moulded or other surfaces is enabled by treatment with Corona or Plasma subject to the process material and the mechanical practicalities of the application.
  • 3D Printing: The surfaces of 3D printed products can be modified to suit a variety of follow on processes, such as ink printing, painting and bonding.  We supply Corona and Plasma treatment systems for accurately treating small areas; these can be mounted on conveyors, rotating tables, or mounted to robots and indexed over the areas to be treated.
  • Electronics Assembly: The surface preparation, enhanced surface energy level and supreme cleanliness achieved by contact free and zero manual handling of Plasma treated Printed Circuit Boards, integrated circuits and modern micro electronics increases reliability and consistency both during assembly and throughout the product’s lifetime.
  • Surface Dosing:  Our Plasma treatment has assisted many otherwise non-receptive (non-wetting) materials by improving their surface energy to enable dosing (coating) of the surface.  This is popular in bio-medical processes as well as Sensor manufacture. 
  • Deposition: This process uses a precursor into Plasma at post-discharge phase to deposit thin layers onto the target surface.  The standard system deposits SiOx with a metal-organic precursor. This coating can be used to provide friction or abrasion protection to compact moving parts, such as instruments and meters
  • Super Cleaning: Plasma is a very popular choice for Super Cleaning surfaces. This can be for preparation of optical lenses or biomedical products, for instance.  The Super Cleaning process will usually remove contaminants to a much greater extent than other established cleaning techniques.

You may have seen your application or process listed above, or perhaps you have something a little different in mind.  We’d love to speak with you to understand the outcomes you’re looking to achieve, so simply call us on +44 (0)1844 355221 or email us at